Giants Edge Saints, Improve to 2-0 for First Time Since 2009
Let it be known, its not the same song and dance with the New York Giants any longer. After losing five 4th quarter leads with under two minutes last year, the 2016 G-men have already shown they can reverse that script early on.
Starting 2-0 for just the first time since the 2009 season, this team has given fans a reason to be excited. Subsequently after delivering Dallas a loss on the road, the Giants opened up at home and finished with a win they needed to grind out.
Costly fumbles by Shane Vereen and Victor Cruz, combined with failing to convert on 4th and goal setback Big Blue from winning this game by double-digits. However, unlike last year, the defense was their backbone and whenever you're scoring points on special teams you will absolutely take it. Janoris Jenkins returned a blocked field goal to give the Giants their first score in the 2nd, making it 7-0.
Eli went 32/41 for 368 yards, and the Giants didn't even need to log a TD on the offensive side of ball to come away with a W in this one. Crucial performances out of rookie Sterling Shepard (8rec, 117yds) and Victor Cruz (4rec, 91yds) were just enough to squeeze out the victory. Cruz made the big boy play of the day, a 34-yard catch with the score tied at 13 and less than two minutes to go. This set them up at the 2 yard line, killed all the Saints' timeouts, and enabled them to milk the clock for a Josh Brown chip shot.
Overall, the execution on the offensive side of the ball was not great, but the opportunities were there. Eli was comfortable in the pocket, which was encouraging given the question marks surrounding the offensive live. Rookies Sterling Shepard and Eli Apple showed again they are more than NFL-ready players, further adding to Jerry Reese's impressive draft resume. The defense, more particularly the secondary, was also stout against a great passing attack lead by future Hall of Fame QB, Drew Brees.
Next week, they'll have Washington at home at 1pm Sunday. Expect fireworks out of the Norman-Odell matchup, which I'm sure will be getting hype all week leading up to gameday. It's early, but logging another divisional win this week and improving to 3-0 would send a big-time message. A message teams haven't seen from the New York Giants since the first Sunday in February of 2012.